Super Typhoon Goni (known locally as Rolly) made landfall on 1st November, bringing 140mph winds and torrential rainfall, and became the most powerful storm to hit the country since Typhoon Haiyan (2013).
Hundreds of thousands of people have evacuated their homes. The first town hit by Goni is said to have lost 90% of its homes – and with communications down, the true scale of the damage is still emerging.
Tropical Storm Astani (known locally as Siony) is also approaching the region, due to make landfall on 5 November. Hopes remain that the storm will alter its path, but on its current trajectory it could batter communities already on their knees.
THREAD: Today we can confirm that we are responding in the wake of the Super #TyphoonGoni which has struck the Philippines. Our teams in the Philippines have #emergency aid on standby, and are preparing our supplies of #shelter, solar lights and other essentials. pic.twitter.com/453HNhiPS0
— ShelterBox (@ShelterBox) November 2, 2020
A series of worsening storms* beginning in mid-October has brought more misery and uncertainty to a country experiencing the second-worst COVID-19 outbreak in South East Asia. Families now face the double threat of having nowhere to live except potentially over-crowded evacuation centres, while trying to protect themselves from the deadly virus.
ShelterBox Chief Executive Sanj Srikanthan said: “People in the Philippines have scarcely been able to draw breath from the physical, emotional and economic onslaught of COVID-19. Now they face the destruction of their homes and livelihoods by a relentless series of storms.
Rotary in the Philippines plays a key part in the charity’s work in the country.”
“This is looking to be the world’s most powerful storm this year, yet it risks being eclipsed in the headlines by world politics and news at home. We cannot stand by and leave displaced families without the shelter they desperately need.”
ShelterBox is working with local contacts and Rotarians to understand how we can help. Rotary in the Philippines plays a key part in the charity’s work in the country.
Marilou Pia, Manager of ShelterBox Operations Philippines in Cebu province, said: “With limited access and communication systems, the full extent of the damage is still uncertain, but we do know that many people have been left with nowhere to live.
“And we are very worried about coronavirus. We already have a very high rate of infection – the government is doing its best to address it, but the virus could spiral out of control if people stay in crowded evacuation centres or with host families for too long.”
Now in its 20th year, ShelterBox, which began as a project by Helston-Lizard Rotary Club, has supported more than 1.5 million people since it was founded in 2000.
*Recent storms to hit the Philippines:
- Tropical Storm Nangka (Nika) – Made landfall on the 13th October
- Tropical Depression Ofel – Brought high rainfall between 14th – 16th October
- Typhoon Saudel (Pepito)– Made landfall on the 21st October over Aurora Province and Luzon.
- Typhoon Molave (Quinta) made landfall in the Central Philippines on 27th October